Friday, December 18, 2015

He That Increaseth Knowledge Increaseth Sorrow

"Twenty-five years ago, when I was a graduate student, I was marching against some war or other on a cold day, carrying my newborn daughter, Martha Hope Tyson, in my arms in a furry pink bunny suit. (Her, not me.) John Hope Franklin, who must have been about 75 years old, with two good decades left in him, was marching nearby. I was too shy to speak to the great historian. Sam Reed, a veteran activist even older than Franklin, took the baby from me for a moment and stepped over to him. 'John Hope, this is Tim Tyson's new baby girl,' Sam said, gesturing toward me, 'and she's named after you! Martha Hope!' Hope was actually named after her aunt and her grandmother, but I didn't correct Sam because I didn't really mind if John Hope Franklin knew that I adored him. We didn't stop that war, or the next one, either, but I still love Hope. And I have hope, too, history or no history."

Tim Tyson in The Atlantic asks, "Can Honest History Allow for Hope?"

Peter Wirzbicki responds in the U.S. Intellectual History Blog.

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